YouTube CEO at World Economic Forum: “There’ll always be work that we have to do” to censor “misinformation”

At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting for 2022, an event where powerful CEOs and world leaders meet to “find solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki committed to persistent censorship of “misinformation” and praised YouTube’s existing censorship efforts.

Wojcicki made the comments after Alyson Shontell Lombardi, the Editor-in-Chief of Fortune Magazine, asked her whether YouTube’s efforts to censor misinformation will always be a “work in progress.”

“I think there’ll always be work that we have to do because there will always be incentives for people to be creating misinformation,” Wojcicki said. “The challenge will be to keep staying ahead of that and make sure that we are understanding what they are and the different ways that people may use to try to trick our systems and make sure that our systems are staying ahead of what’s necessary to make sure that we are managing that.”

Wojcicki continued by praising YouTube’s 5-6 year initiative of cracking down on content that’s deemed to be misinformation and said that users who look at YouTube search results or the homepage will see content from “authoritative sources” (mainstream media outlets that YouTube designates as authoritative) for “sensitive topics.”

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Chicago cops team up with FBI to create fake social media profiles

Chicago police have free rein to use fake social media profiles to spy on people and eventually make arrests. This is seen as a more aggressive and potentially illegal use of social media by law enforcement. Previously, cops scanned social media posts to track down protesters.

Documents obtained by The Intercept revealed that the Chicago Police Department has a task force called Social Media Exploration (SOMEX) that is overseen by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The team uses fake social media profiles, created by the FBI, to catfish and investigate people.

The documents state that the photos in the fake profiles should be “uniquely created and not attributed to an actual individual.”

Additionally, the officers are “authorized to take these online identities into the real world” to further assist investigations. But the fake profiles are only to be used if there is adequate “articulable suspicion” of crime.

The documents detail the FBI’s involvement in SOMEX. Aside from creating fake online personas, the FBI oversees “the day-to-day operations” of the task force.

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Meet the Conspiracy Theorist Behind Twitter’s ‘Crisis Misinformation Policy’

Twitter’s pick to stop the spread of misinformation in times of crisis has a history of pushing falsehoods.

Yoel Roth, the head of Twitter’s safety and integrity unit, unveiled the site’s “crisis misinformation policy” on Thursday. In a blog post, Roth outlined how Twitter will place warning labels on tweets deemed to contain misinformation and prevent them from being “amplified or recommended” in times of armed conflict, natural disasters, or public health emergencies.

Roth is a questionable pick to launch the policy, given his own track record with misinformation. Roth oversaw Twitter’s decision to block the sharing of an October 2020 New York Post report on emails from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop. Roth told the Federal Election Commission he made the decision based on “rumors” shared by the United States government’s intelligence community that the Russian government might release materials hacked from Hunter Biden.

There has been no credible evidence that Biden’s laptop was hacked, or that Russia played a role in publishing emails from it. Former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later admitted that blocking the article was “a total mistake.”

Roth came under fire earlier in 2020 for referring to Trump officials as “actual Nazis” in a 2017 tweet. He also called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) a “bag of farts.”

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House passes antisemitism resolution calling for surveillance and censorship of online content

The House of Representatives has voted to pass a resolution that calls for increased surveillance and censorship of online speech, to help reduce antisemitism.

The resolution goes beyond condemning antisemitism; it goes into the realm of calling on social media platforms to do more to stop it.

We obtained a copy of the resolution for you here.

The resolution calls on social media platforms to “institute stronger and more significant efforts to measure and address online antisemitism” and, like most resolutions of this kind, pays lip-service to the idea of “protecting free speech concerns,” without providing details on how this is possible.

The resolution also calls for the house to work “in tandem with the cross-party Inter-parliamentary Task Force to Combat Online Anti- semitism to help craft thoughtful global initiatives designed to address online antisemitism.”

The resolution names platforms specifically, saying there has been an uptick in “antisemitic language, conspiracy theories, and hatred has increased on multiple social media platforms—from Facebook and Instagram to Twitter and TikTok.”

Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican, was the only member of the House that recognized the implications of government once again trying to insert themselves into moderation on online platforms and voted against the bill on free speech grounds.

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Australian cop who said there are only two genders faces investigation

An Australian policeman, a 62-year-old policeman, Sergeant Bruno Stafiieri, is being investigated after an online comment telling another officer that there are only two genders.

“So you are doing tertiary education studying genders,” Staffieri wrote, “I’ll make it easy for you to pass … there are 2.”

As reported by The Age, the ongoing investigation into Staffieri “shapes as a test case for freedom of speech and the force’s recently revised social-media policy, particularly for officers expressing religious or political opinions online.”

It was not the first time Staffieri has landed in trouble for commenting on LGB and Trans stories.

He was under investigation for criticizing the government’s decision to cancel Anzac Day and Australia Day but allowed Gay Pride March.

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Twitter To Ramp Up Censorship Of ‘Misinformation’ About The Ukraine War

Twitter has published what it calls a “crisis misinformation policy” announcing that it will be actively reducing the visibility of content found to be false which pertains to “situations of armed conflict, public health emergencies, and large-scale natural disasters.”

If you’ve been paying attention to the dramatic escalations in online censorship we’ve been seeing in 2022, it will not surprise you to learn that the Ukraine war is the first crisis to which this new censorship policy will be applied.

Twitter says that it “won’t amplify or recommend content” found to violate its new policy, and will also attach warning labels to individual tweets and even hide offending content behind a warning label and disable the retweet function on particularly naughty posts.

The problem here is of course the question of how to impartially establish whether something is objectively false without it turning into at best a flawed system guided by fallible human biases and perceptual filters and at worst a powerful institution shutting down unauthorized speech. Twitter says it formed its new policy with input from unnamed “global experts and human rights organizations,” and will be enforcing it with the help of “conflict monitoring groups, humanitarian organizations, open-source investigators, journalists, and more.” This will come as no comfort to anyone who’s familiar with the history of propaganda peddling that can be found in every single one of those respective categories.

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‘They’re Going To Get Their Ministry Of Truth One Way Or The Other’: Twitter Announces ‘Crisis Misinformation Policy’

Just one day after the White House confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board had been put on hold — and that board chief Nina Jankowicz had resigned — Twitter announced plans to implement a new “crisis misinformation policy.”

The plan, according to a tweet from @TwitterSafety, would be implemented to ensure that Twitter as a platform did not amplify or contribute to the spread of misinformation.

“People turn to Twitter during crisis times to share news, find support, and stay connected. Today, we’re launching a crisis misinformation policy so Twitter doesn’t recommend or amplify viral, false content that can further harm already vulnerable groups,” the tweet read.

“We’ve been refining our approach to crisis misinformation, drawing on input from global experts and human rights organizations. As part of this new framework, we’ll start adding warning notices on high visibility misleading Tweets related to the war in Ukraine,” the thread continued.

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Half of Joe Biden’s Twitter Followers Are Fake, Audit Reveals

Almost half of President Joe Biden‘s current 22.2 million followers on Twitter are fake accounts, according to an audit tool provided by software company SparkToro.

SparkToro’s tool found that 49.3 percent of accounts following the official @POTUS Twitter account are “fake followers” based on analysis of a number of factors, including location issues, default profile images and new users.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is currently trying to buy Twitter, has expressed concerns about the number of fake accounts and a potential crack down could see users such as Biden lose a huge number of followers.

Musk said early on Tuesday that his $44-billion deal to purchase the social media company could not go ahead until issues with fake accounts were resolved and he appeared to criticize Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal.

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CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA REBORN? PRIVATE SPY AGENCY WEAPONIZES FACEBOOK AGAIN

On April 4, plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit brought against Facebook over its data-sharing practices following the eruption of the Cambridge Analytica scandal filed a fresh motion, charging that the social media giant deliberately obstructed discovery of information revealing the scale of its malfeasance.

It’s the latest development in a wide-ranging controversy that began in the first months of 2017 and shows little sign of abating. In brief, Cambridge Analytica exploited a Facebook loophole to harvest the personal data of up to 50 million Americans, in order to manipulate voters on behalf of a number of right-wing candidates — potentially including Donald Trump — and political campaigns in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Since then, the company and its parent, SCL Group, have folded, with official investigations into their activities conducted in several countries, while Facebook has been fined a record $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for egregious breaches of user confidentiality. The entire dispute raised serious public concerns about online privacy and the malign influence of behavioral advertising and microtargeting, which endure to this day.

In September 2020, Cambridge Analytica’s former CEO, Alexander Nix, was disqualified from serving as a U.K. company director for seven years for offering unethical services, including “bribery or honey-trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns.”

By contrast, one senior SCL staffer seemingly pivotal to many of those unethical practices – although they deny it — has been unaffected by the scandal’s fallout. In fact, they have profited and prospered immensely in its wake.

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Days After Biden Unveils New Dystopian “Disinformation Governance Board” Newly Released Documents Confirm CDC Catalogues and Tracks Social Media Posts by Elected Officials That are Vaccine Related

Newly released internal documents from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveal the agency has been tracking and cataloging the social media posts of elected US officials.

The records were obtained earlier this week through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and were posted online by investigative journalist Sheryl Attkisson.

According to the documents, the social media posts, which are all CDC or vaccine-related, are logged into a database and broken down by party affiliation. The logs include information like the text of the post, the date it was sent, a link, and even notes about what was said.

Creepy.

It is unclear what the data is currently being used for, but, one thing’s clear, the so-called health ‘experts’ are awfully concerned with what’s being said about them online.

It doesn’t really seem to matter too much whether the posts include criticism or praise, as both Democrats and Republicans, like Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY), can be found on the list.

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